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Thousands of pensioners face social security error

Thousands of pensioners face social security error

Wednesday 01 February 2023

Thousands of pensioners face social security error

Wednesday 01 February 2023

Guernsey's States have confirmed that it has sent thousands of people letters asking for much more money in social security contributions than they need to pay.

The mistake was made by the Revenue Service which is responsible for the collection of both social security and income tax.

Social Security and Income Tax were brought together in 2018 amid plans to "make life easier".

At the time the States was told that bringing the two departments together as the new Revenue Service would be "cheaper to run", with "improved customer satisfaction by making services easier to use".

It was voted through by the States on the basis that it would be "a single organisation for the collection of revenue, focused on efficiency and the removal of duplication for islanders and government".

Wheadon House

Pictured: The Revenue Service is based at Edward T Wheadon House.

Of the Revenue Service's customer base - the entire island - around 5,600 people received letters with the wrong contribution rate in the post on Monday.

It seems that those letters were queried by many people immediately with the Revenue Service saying it discovered yesterday, 31 January, that the letters issued on 30 January, contained mistakes.

The Revenue Service has admitted writing to customers over pension age mistakenly detailing their weekly liability for 2023 at the full non-employed rate of 11% (which is payable by customers under pension age), instead of the Specialist Health and Long-term care rate of 3.6%.

The Revenue Service said "approximately 5,600 customers have been impacted" suggesting that the true number could be higher.


Pictured: The Revenue Service has already been criticised for recent issues with the income tax systems.

In a statement issued this morning, the Revenue Service said it is "currently amending the letters and impacted customers will receive a revised letter with the correct weekly rate, along with a covering letter apologising for the error.

"The Service apologises for this error and any concerns it may have caused customers. Since this error was identified, staff have been apologising and explaining the issue to customers who have made contact."

The Revenue Service said customers who are not over pension age have received the correct contributions letters.

Last week it was confirmed that the Revenue Service had extended the deadline for 2021 personal and company tax returns by a week. They are now due in by Tuesday 7 March, 2023.

The Service said this was because it " conscious that at the end of last year and again this month there had been periods where was not available, during which online returns could not be submitted. Therefore the deadline is being extended to ensure everyone has sufficient time to be able to complete their returns."

Recently Express has also asked the States for clarity on other recent problems regarding the issuing of coding notices and the allocation of personal allowances relating to married women who were previously included in their husband's tax returns but who are now counted separately after the law was updated.


Progress on income tax backlog

New Tax Reference Numbers issued

Social Security contributions set to increase

Income tax/social security merger will "make life easier"

Social Security payment system "antiquated"


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